August 24, 2012 | By Donna Evans
Middle Earth is coming to a theater near you, once again. Peter Jackson has been filming a new movie called “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” on location in various sites throughout the stunning beauty of New Zealand. This movie is being released on December 14, 2012 and offers more views and glimpses of the striking backdrop of a country comprising two scenic islands separated by the Cook Straight.
The north island of New Zealand offers a drastic contrast from the south island, with rolling hills, hot springs, bubbling mud pools, volcanic landscapes, vast forests, serene lakes, rivers and so much more. Lake Taupo is actually a crater the size of an inland sea and is the largest fresh water lake in Australasia. Activities abound with something for everyone, including parasailing, kayaking, fishing and everything in between.
Hobbiton is the location for the movie set in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and is a beautiful scenic green, hilly location for the whole family to enjoy in Matamata on a private farm. You will visit the Shire, Misty Mountains and Mount Doom, walking in the footsteps of some of your favorite characters from the movie. You can even enjoy a farm stay, if you desire.
The Bay of Plenty boasts the only active marine volcano in New Zealand on White Island. The vent of the volcano is actually below sea level with high crater walls protecting it from the sea. The island is a volcanic structure estimated at 100,000 to 200,000 years old and it is an authentic example of nature’s creativity.
Hawke’s Bay shares the art deco architecture that was used after fires and earthquakes destroyed the city. Examples of other influences exist in Spanish Mission, Stripped Classical, similarities of Frank Lloyd Wright are interjected with the Art Deco motifs. This is certainly an area of variety and interesting architectural medleys.
Huka Falls is the largest falls on the Waikato River, one of New Zealand’s longest rivers. Huka is the Maori word for “foam”, a common sight as the rapids fall and create the look, especially as the river narrows and crosses a hard volcanic ledge. This forces the volumes of water to collide and create the foam and power of the rapids the rafters love so much.
The beauty of the north island is astounding and offers numerous experiences from the wine area of Waihee Island to the Bay of Plenty to the unique art museum called Te Papa in the capital of Wellington. You can sail on an America’s Cup sailboat, drink water straight from the pure streams and enjoy snippets of the Maori culture.
Tamaki Maori Village serves glimpses of the traditions passed on over thousands of years with dance, peace offerings and legends from long ago, including portions of the journey across the vast ocean in canoes to migrate to this pristine country.
There are award winning lodgestand accommodations on the north island of New Zealand, such as The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Huka Lodge, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers and more. The most discriminating traveler has options, as does the family looking for the more moderate options. All are within your reach when you visit the beautiful north island of New Zealand.